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July 31, 2009

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Home » Sports » Basketball

Paul dons best 'shoes' for China trip

CHRIS Paul was so taken by basketball's popularity in China during the Beijing Olympics that he's adding a Chinese flair to his signature shoe and making a return trip for the first time since receiving his gold medal.

Paul said he felt like a member of the Beatles while touring the country with Team USA last summer and that he continues to be amazed at China's passion for the sport.

"When you're engulfed in something like that, I'm just taking it all in, realizing that it's a dream to be able to travel to China and people want to see you play, they want to know what you're doing," Paul said on Wednesday. "It's still something I can't totally grasp."

Paul's second trip to China in as many years will be among the highlights of a busy offseason that saw him become a father, go back to university and add a little bulk to his physique.

The NBA All-Star point guard and 2008 Olympic gold medal winner will arrive in Tianjin City on Sunday and move on to Guangzhou, southern Guandong Province, on August 3-4, hosting basketball clinics and dedicating an outdoor court on the grounds of a Guangzhou school.

The trip will include the launch of the Jordan CP3 II China Edition shoe, which will be decorated with Chinese characters symbolic of Paul's life, such as the year he was born (1985), and the No. 61, which relates to Paul scoring 61 points in a high-school game to honor his 61-year-old slain grandfather. It also will include the No. 106, a nod to his NBA record for consecutive games with a steal.

Though the shoe will be sold in the United States, the New Orleans Hornets star said it only makes sense to also market it in China. He took in some youth-level basketball games last year and came away impressed.

"Man, they can really play. That's the thing," Paul said. "I'm excited about going back


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